It's true that 360° cinematography hasn't yet quite made the dent with filmmakers that it was supposed to. Releasing in 360° remains niche, and shooting 360° to then editing the shot later really only makes sense for extreme action situations where you can't do your framing on the day.
Insta360 is looking to get a bigger foothold not just in the social video market but also in the traditional creator market with its newer, larger sensor, and overall higher resolution in the Insta360 X3. But are the updates enough to give filmmakers what they need? Should we all make the jump?
X Gonna Give It to Ya
Boasting a set of 1/2" sensors in a traditional candy bar shape, the Insta360 X3 is designed for easy use in either 360° mode up to 5.7K or in a traditional single-lens shooting mode in 4K resolution.
Waterproof to 33 feet and with a tempered glass touch screen, the X3 is designed for action shooters who need a camera they can rely on for getting shots from impossible angles and situations.
For editing your 360° footage, either for spherical release or to pull flat images, you can work with a phone app on iOS or Android. There's also Insta360 Studio, a desktop app to give you more precise control and maximize your resolution. You can do everything manually or take advantage of new AI-powered tools like Auto Frame to point out your areas of interest and have the system create well-crafted shots.
Loads of rigging optionsCredit: Insta360
- Max Aperture F1.9
- 35mm Equivalent Focal Length: 6.7mm
- Video Resolution:
- 360:, 5.7K: 5760x2880@30/25/24fps or 4K: 3840x1920@60/30fps
- Video Resolution Single-Lens Mode:
- 4K: 3840x2160@30/25/24fps, 3.6K: 3584x2016@60/50/30/25/24fps, 2.7K: 2720x1530@60/50/30/25/24fps, or 1080p: 1920x1088@60/50/30/25/24fps
- Photo Format: insp (can be exported via mobile app or desktop Studio), DNG RAW (PureShot photos must be edited on desktop)
- Video Format Single Lens: Mp4 360: insv
- Max Video Bitrate 120Mbps
- Photo Modes Standard, HDR, Burst, Interval, Starlapse
- Video Modes Standard, Active HDR, Timelapse, TimeShift, Bullet Time, Loop Recording
- Color Profiles Vivid, Standard, LOG
- Run Time 81min (Tested in lab environment under 5.7K@30fps mode)
- 6-axis gyroscope
- ISO Range 100-3200
X2 or X3—Which One to Get?
Look, if you have to ask if you need a 360°, you probably don't.
But if you are in the market for one, then is the Insta360 X3 worth it over the previous generation? Well, you're getting a slightly faster aperture, with f/1.9 for the X3 over f/2.0 for the X2. The lens is also a hair wider at 6.7mm over the 7mm, and you get a bitrate of 120Mbps over the X2's 100Mbps.
On paper, the X3 is a better camera all around. But just barely.
- Dual-Mode 360 & Standard Pocket Camera
- 1/2" Sensor, 72MP 360° Photos
- 5.7K Dual-Lens 360 Auto-Stitched Capture
- 4K Single-Lens Standard Camera Mode
- 2.29" LCD Touchscreen
- 6-Axis Gyroscope
- FlowState Stabilization
- 33' Waterproof without Housing
- Bluetooth 5.0 Support, iOS/Android App
- 360° Horizon Lock
If you already have an Insta360 X2, you might want just to keep shooting on it, as the updates aren't that exciting to warrant a hop to the new model. However, if you're in the market for your first 360° camera, the Insta360 X3 is a great introduction to a new world of cinematography.